Islamists demand removal of Lady Justice statue in Bangladesh

Bangladesh supreme court building [Photo credit: bbc.co.uk]

Some hundreds of Islamists on Friday marched in Dhaka to demand the government remove a statue of Lady Justice installed in 2016 on the Supreme Court premises.

“We will be forced to go for tougher agitation unless the statue is removed immediately,’’ Mosaddeque Billah, one of the leaders of the group Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh, told a rally after Friday prayers.

The radical group, which campaigns for a blasphemy law, also announced a nationwide demonstration for March 10.

It said that would be followed by yet another on March 18 to press their demand for the removal of the statue of a blindfolded woman in a sari holding scales and a sword in her hands.

The statue that represents the Roman goddess Iustitia, or the Greek goddess Themis, was set up on the Bangladesh Supreme Court premises in December.

The Islamic group says the setting up of “idols” is prohibited in Islam.

“We can’t allow any idol in Muslim-majority Bangladesh,’’ Billah said.

Over 90 per cent of Bangladesh’s 160 million inhabitants identify as Muslim.

The country is governed by a secular constitution based on British common law, but radical Islamic groups have long been campaigning for the introduction of strict Islamic law, or sharia. (dpa/NAN)

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